Globally, nearly 3.3 billion people are at risk of malaria, and in 2011, approximately 650,000 people died from the disease. People living in sub-Saharan Africa—where about 80% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths occur—are at highest risk. Children under five and pregnant women are the most severely affected; 85% of all deaths from malaria are among children under five, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 50 million women will become pregnant in malaria endemic areas. In all, 10,000 of these women and 200,000 of their newborns will die as a result of malaria in pregnancy (MIP). Fortunately, malaria is an entirely preventable and treatable disease, and increased malaria control measures are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.
MCHIP has been a key contributor to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership, which aims to reduce the global burden of malaria morbidity and mortality. The Program is also a key supporter of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) goal of reducing malaria deaths by half in target countries by reaching 85% of the most vulnerable groups (children under five and pregnant women) with proven and effective malaria prevention and treatment measures. The Program applies successful approaches and innovative practices to address malaria prevention and control comprehensively. Our strategy is woman-centered, recognizing that women are the primary care takers of children under five, and is integrated appropriately within maternal and child health as well as HIV programming.
MCHIP has supported Ministries of Health in 20 African countries, contributing to increased coverage with proven and effective malaria prevention and treatment measures. These measures include: intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPTp); distribution and use of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs); indoor residual spraying (IRS); introduction and scale up of both rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs); and artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs).
Achieving goals for malaria, including universal coverage and elimination of the disease, requires addressing the health system holistically at the country level, and enabling the global dialogue to advance evidence-based policies and successful approaches. MCHIP has built national and local (community, nongovernmental organization [NGO], and facility) capacities and strengthened health systems to accelerate scale-up for prevention and treatment programs addressing MIP and integrated community case management (iCCM) in children under five. The Program has provided countries with holistic support to addresses malaria across the health continuum of care—from household to community to facility and, finally, at the policy level.
Specifically, MCHIP has:
- Conducted systematic assessments of MIP and iCCM programs to advance program learning;
- Strengthened MIP and iCCM services in the context of health systems strengthening; and
- Promoted MIP and iCCM policies and best practices across countries.
- MCHIP, in collaboration with the RBM-MIP Working Group and PMI, has supported the rollout of WHO’s updated policy on IPTp to countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
- MCHIP has led the development of key technical and programmatic documents that are supporting countries to accelerate and scale up MIP programs. These include: MIP Documentation of Best Practices and Lessons Learned; Malaria Protection in Pregnancy: A lifesaving intervention for preventing neonatal mortality and low birth weight; Report: Review of MIP National Documents in Five Countries.
To see all of MCHIP’s key malaria resources, click here.